Frustration over litter louts dropping fast-food rubbish

The deflated balloon on the beach at Seahouses. Picture by
The deflated balloon on the beach at Seahouses. Picture by

An Alnwick town councillor has called on fast-food fans to take their litter home after becoming frustrated at the McDonald’s detritus discarded on the town’s streets.

Coun Sue Allcroft, for whom litter is a personal bugbear, said that since the drive-thru restaurant opened, she has regularly had to pick up items of rubbish from along South Road heading into town.

“I know McDonald’s do a really strenuous clean around their property because I have met the girl and she’s out three times a day,” she said.

“There’s not many tourists here at the moment so it must be local people. Take your litter home, it’s simple enough!”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We actively encourage customers to dispose of their waste responsibly, through messages on our packaging and by providing bins and signage both in and around our restaurants.

“Employees at the McDonald’s restaurant in Alnwick carry out litter picks three times a day and work hard to encourage customers to dispose of their litter responsibly before leaving the restaurant.

“Unfortunately, a minority of people still dispose of their litter irresponsibly and we’re working hard to tackle this issue with the local community.”

Meanwhile, a Gazette reader contacted us with photos of a deflated McDonald’s Happy Meal-branded balloon on the beach at Seahouses, where it was spotted by a volunteer cleaning the coastline. He described the lighter-than-air balloons as ‘a serious shortcoming as regards environmental awareness’.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We have worked with our suppliers to ensure that all balloons are made from biodegradable material and to increase the anti-litter messaging printed on our balloons.

“In coastal areas we have already started a process of replacing helium balloons with stick balloons. We believe this move will help our customers have greater control over their disposal and minimise the unplanned environmental consequences of a travelling helium balloon.”